Relationship of History with other Sciences | Study of History
The Relationship Between Sociology and the Social Sciences economics, geography, history, political science, psychology, and sociology) according to what. Social science is a category of academic disciplines, concerned with society and the relationships among individuals within a society. Social science as a whole has many branches. These social sciences include, but are not limited to: anthropology, . As a social science, the discipline often overlaps with sociology, psychology. With other social sciences like sociology, economics, psychology, history even history of the various fields that were studied in relation to.
Archaeology, though a relatively young discipline in Africa, has aided the historian in reconstructing the past history of some African peoples and states. History and Related Disciplines. The use of glottochronology, a branch of lexicostatistics and a study of the rate which languages change or are replaced, have been useful in historical reconstruction as evident in its role of analyzing vocabulary, grammatical forms and social changes of a given language to understand its evolution and which in turn is beneficial to historical reconstruction done through the study of migration or movement of a group.
Linguistics became a historical source in Africa due to the overlap of languages. Obenga further opined that its influence is mainly a matter of comparative and historical linguistics. The method adopted is comparative and inductive: The point of historical linguistics lies not so much in finding a common predialectal language as in appreciating the overall linguistics spread of different, apparently unrelated languages.
A language is seldom enclosed within a clearly defined space, but most commonly overflows its own area by making relationship being sometimes imperceptible at first9. A common language does not necessarily go together with racial identity. But it does give relevant information about an essential, indeed the only real, unity, namely, the basic cultural unity of people united by a common language even though sometimes with very different origins and political systems There were inter-group relations forged by language.
Linguists have classified the various African languages into groups according to how closely related they are to each other or to one another. It is believed that most of these languages come from a common parentage i. Sources and Specific Techniques used in African history: General History of Africa.
Methodology and African Prehistory. A lecture delivered at the 1st Prof. Atanda Memorial Lecture Series No. These groups spread over different regions, on the continent and in some instances extended to some area outside the regions in which they are particularly resident. There is increasing acceptance among scholars of a correlation between proto-Nilotic speakers and the herding- fishing Khartoum Neolithic peoples. At an earlier level, however, prior to the adoption of livestock herding by about B.
This correlates very closely with the modern distribution of the combined languages of the entire Nilo-Saharan family: Interestingly, the subsistence patterns of many of the modern speakers of this family still emphasizes herding and fishing.
Nuerherding Maasai, Tedaor fishing Songhai Another technique is the study of loan words: The study of loan words among language groups has also helped to improve our knowledge of culture change and contact in the past.
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For example, there are several Kanuri loan words in the Hausa language. Interdisciplinary Approach to Scholarship in History. This science through its human palaeontology Palaeo- Anthropolgy help in the study of pre-historic human and proto-human fossils, supported by genetic science a branch of biological science which help in genetic analysis, done through genetic and biological examination in tracing and ascertaining the trend of a family, group or society.
Psychology just like history is a multifaceted discipline and includes many sub-fields of study such areas as human development, sports, health, clinical, social behaviour and cognitive process Some aspects study the influence of culture and society and the analysis of role of evolution complements historical studies.
Psychology is seen as one aspect of social situation explained in historical context. Psychology complements history in analysing the motives and actions of man and societies.
The role of psychology in historical writing of biography and auto-biography is unequivocal. The impact of psychology on history is evident from the fact that in the past, historians inquired primarily into the origins of war and ignored the result of war, and as a result of the influence of 15 S. It is believed that history and geography have very close ties. Some scholars have opined that geography answers questions spanning the local to the global, in the past, present and future17 The eminent geographer Donald Meining views geography and history as complementary and necessarily connected in teaching and learning about the past and present, as exemplified in his work: The Shaping Of America: The importance of geographic knowledge to history are characterised by the abilities to; develop location skills and understandings, understand human and environmental interactions, understand human movement, and understand the region Geographic concepts and tools are beneficial to enhancing a multicultural perspective, especially in the study of migration and movement by a group having examined and interpreted the economic and cultural space of the migrants and host community.
The interaction of geography and history help understand historical events through the knowledge of physical and human characteristics of a specific space of occurrence.
A Necessary Connection in the School Curriculum. Integrating History and Geography. Without a rudimentary knowledge of geography, it would be difficult to understand or study certain branches of history such as: Geography lies at the basis of History Herder opined that: History is Geography set in motion.
The physical formation of the country such as Britain, Japan and Greece with broken coastlines had a very powerful impact on its history; this facilitated their naval strength and empire building activities. The geographical discoveries of America and a new route to India determined the character of world history since the Renaissance Hence, the knowledge of geography helped a lot in the age of discovery and is very essential for historical reconstruction.
Anthropology been the study of the origins and development of people and their society enables historian to understand the cultural pattern and behaviour of primitive peoples belonging to different races. In tracing the course of social and cultural revolutions of pre- historic and post-historic man, the knowledge of and the help of anthropology as a related discipline to history is cogent as it helps with precise assertions.
Relationship of History with other Sciences: Complex rituals, blood- feud, trance and ecstasy, millenarianism, oath-taking, the Divine Right of Kings, and particularly magical and witchcraft beliefs became legitimate and fruitful topics for study. In the last of these, for instance, models from African witchcraft provided a stimulus for many important works on English, French, Spanish, and North American and German witchcraft Also, Anthropological works also had the effect of distancing the familiar, making historians aware that much of what they had regarded as normal in the past really required investigation because it was, cross-comparatively, unusual.
A particularly striking example of this was in the field of family relationships. Much of anthropology is concerned with kinship and marriage.
These works helped to stimulate many of the studies of sexuality, marriage, childhood, parental ties, domestic groups, women, love, incest and other topics. The anthropological inspiration joined up with interests from historical demography and women's studies, and thereby opened up the whole field of interpersonal relationships and sentiment As has been suggested, these and other seminal ideas were contained for the most part in writings whose primary function was to attack the existing order of government and society in western Europe.
Another way of putting the matter is to say that these ideas were clear and acknowledged parts of political and social idealism—using that word in its largest sense. HobbesLockeRousseauMontesquieuSmithand other major philosophers had as vivid and energizing a sense of the ideal—the ideal state, the ideal economy, the ideal civil society—as any earlier utopian writer.
These thinkers were, without exception, committed to visions of the good or ideal society. The fact remains, however, that the ideas that were to prove decisive in the 19th century, so far as the social sciences were concerned, arose during the two centuries preceding. The breakup of the old order—an order that had rested on kinshiplandsocial classreligion, local communityand monarchy —set free, as it were, the complex elements of statusauthority, and wealth that had been for so long consolidated.
In the same way that the history of 19th-century politics, industryand trade is basically about the practical efforts of human beings to reconsolidate these elements, so the history of 19th-century social thought is about theoretical efforts to reconsolidate them—that is, to give them new contexts of meaning. In terms of the immediacy and sheer massiveness of impact on human thought and values, it would be difficult to find revolutions of comparable magnitude in human history.
The political, social, and cultural changes that began in France and England at the very end of the 18th century spread almost immediately through Europe and the Americas in the 19th century and then on to Asia, Africa, and Oceania in the 20th.
The effects of the two revolutions, the one overwhelmingly democratic in thrust, the other industrial-capitalist, have been to undermine, shake, or topple institutions that had endured for centuries, even millennia, and with them systems of authority, status, belief, and community. It is easy today to deprecate the suddenness, the cataclysmic nature, the overall revolutionary effect of these two changes and to seek to subordinate results to longer, deeper tendencies of more gradual change in western Europe.
But as many historians have pointed out, there was to be seen, and seen by a great many sensitive minds of that day, a dramatic and convulsive quality to the changes that cannot properly be subsumed to the slower processes of continuous evolutionary change. What is crucial, in any event, from the point of view of the history of the social thought of the period, is how the changes were actually envisaged at the time.
By a large number of social philosophers and social scientists, in all spheres, those changes were regarded as nothing less than earth-shattering. A large number of words taken for granted today came into being in the period marked by the final decade or two of the 18th century and the first quarter of the 19th. Some of these words were invented; others reflect new and very different meanings given to old ones. All alike bear witness to the transformed character of the European social landscape as this landscape loomed up to the leading minds of the age.
And all these words bear witness too to the emergence of new social philosophies and, most pertinent to the subject of this article, the social sciences as they are known today. Major themes resulting from democratic and industrial change It is illuminating to mention a few of the major themes in social thought in the 19th century that were almost the direct results of the democratic and industrial revolutions.
It should be borne in mind that these themes are to be seen in the philosophical and literary writing of the age as well as in social thought. First, there was the great increase in population.
Between and the population of Europe went from million to million and of the world from million to well over 1 billion. It was an English clergyman and economist, Thomas Malthuswho, in his famous Essay on the Principle of Populationfirst marked the enormous significance to human welfare of this increase.
With the diminution of historic checks on population growth, chiefly those of high mortality rates —a diminution that was, as Malthus realized, one of the rewards of technological progress—there were no easily foreseeable limits to growth of population.
And such growth, he stressed, could only upset the traditional balance between population, which Malthus described as growing at a geometrical rate, and food supply, which he declared could grow only at an arithmetical rate.
Not all social scientists in the century took the pessimistic view of the matter that Malthus did, but few if any were indifferent to the impact of explosive increase in population on economy, government, and society.
Thomas Robert Malthus, detail of an engraving after a portrait by J. Courtesy of the trustees of the British Museum; photograph, J. Second, there was the condition of labour.
It may be possible to see this condition in the early 19th century as in fact better than the condition of the rural masses at earlier times. But the important point is that to a large number of writers in the 19th century it seemed worse and was defined as worse. The wrenching of large numbers of people from the older and protective contexts of village, guild, parish, and familyand their massing in the new centres of industry, forming slumsliving in common squalor and wretchedness, their wages generally behind cost of livingtheir families growing larger, their standard of living becoming lower, as it seemed—all of this is a frequent theme in the social thought of the century.
Third, there was the transformation of property. Not only was more and more property to be seen as industrial—manifest in the factories, business houses, and workshops of the period—but also the very nature of property was changing. This led, as was early realized, to the dominance of financial interests, to speculation, and to a general widening of the gulf between the propertied and the masses. The change in the character of property made easier the concentration of property, the accumulation of immense wealth in the hands of a relative few, and, not least, the possibility of economic domination of politics and culture.
It should not be thought that only socialists saw property in this light. Fourth, there was urbanization —the sudden increase in the number of towns and cities in western Europe and the increase in number of persons living in the historic towns and cities. Whereas in earlier centuries, the city had been regarded almost uniformly as a setting of civilization, culture, and freedom of mind, now one found more and more writers aware of the other side of cities: Sociology particularly among the social sciences turned its attention to the problems of urbanization.
Cooley and Robert E. Fifth, there was technology. With the spread of mechanizationfirst in the factories and then in agriculture, social thinkers could see possibilities of a rupture of the historic relation between humans and nature, between humans and humans, and even between humans and God. To thinkers as politically different as Thomas Carlyle and Marxtechnology seemed to lead to dehumanization of the worker and to a new kind of tyranny over human life. Marx, though, far from despising technology, thought the advent of socialism would counteract all this.
Alexis de Tocqueville declared that technology, and especially technical specialization of workwas more degrading to the human mind and spirit than even political tyranny. It was thus in the 19th century that the opposition to technology on moral, psychological, and aesthetic grounds first made its appearance in Western thought. Sixth, there was the factory system. The importance of this to 19th-century thought has been intimated above.
Suffice it to add that along with urbanization and spreading mechanization, the system of work whereby masses of workers left home and family to work long hours in the factories became a major theme of social thought as well as of social reform. Seventh, and finally, mention is to be made of the development of political masses —that is, the slow but inexorable widening of franchise and electorate through which ever larger numbers of persons became aware of themselves as voters and participants in the political process.
Tocqueville saw the rise of the political masses, more especially the immense power that could be wielded by the masses, as the single greatest threat to individual freedom and cultural diversity in the ages ahead. Roger-Viollet These, then, are the principal themes in the 19th-century writing that may be seen as direct results of the two great revolutions. As themes, they are to be found not only in the social sciences but, as noted above, in a great deal of the philosophical and literary writing of the century.
In their respective ways, the philosophers Georg Wilhelm Friedrich HegelSamuel Taylor Coleridgeand Ralph Waldo Emerson were as struck by the consequences of the revolutions as were any social scientists. New ideologies One other point must be emphasized about these themes. They became, almost immediately in the 19th century, the bases of new ideologies. How people reacted to the currents of democracy and industrialism stamped them conservativeliberalor radical.
On the whole, with rarest exceptions, liberals welcomed the two revolutions, seeing in their forces opportunity for freedom and welfare never before known to humankind. The liberal view of society was overwhelmingly democratic, capitalist, industrial, and, of course, individualistic. The case is somewhat different with conservatism and radicalism in the century. Conservatives, beginning with Burke and continuing through Hegel and Matthew Arnold to such minds as John Ruskin later in the century, disliked both democracy and industrialism, preferring the kind of tradition, authority, and civility that had been, in their minds, displaced by the two revolutions.
Theirs was a retrospective view, but it was a nonetheless influential one, affecting a number of the central social scientists of the century, among them Comte and Tocqueville and later Weber and Durkheim.
The radicals accepted democracy but only in terms of its extension to all areas of society and its eventual annihilation of any form of authority that did not spring directly from the people as a whole. And although the radicals, for the most part, accepted the phenomenon of industrialism, especially technology, they were uniformly antagonistic to capitalism.
Matthew Arnold, detail of an oil painting by G. Watts; in the National Portrait Gallery, London Courtesy of the National Portrait Gallery, London These ideological consequences of the two revolutions proved extremely important to the social sciences, for it would be difficult to identify a social scientist in the century—as it would a philosopher or a humanist —who was not, in some degree at least, caught up in ideological currents.
Tylor and Lewis Henry Morganone has before one persons who were engaged not merely in the study of society but also in often strongly partisan ideology. Some were liberals, some conservatives, others radicals. All drew from the currents of ideology that had been generated by the two great revolutions.
New intellectual and philosophical tendencies It is important also to identify three other powerful tendencies of thought that influenced all of the social sciences. The first is a positivism that was not merely an appeal to science but almost reverence for science; the second, humanitarianism; the third, the philosophy of evolution. The positivist appeal of science was to be seen everywhere. The rise of the ideal of science in the 17th century was noted above.
The 19th century saw the virtual institutionalization of this ideal—possibly even canonization. The great aim was that of dealing with moral values, institutions, and all social phenomena through the same fundamental methods that could be seen so luminously in such areas as physics and biology.
Prior to the 19th century, no very clear distinction had been made between philosophy and science, and the term philosophy was even preferred by those working directly with physical materials, seeking laws and principles in the fashion of Sir Isaac Newton or William Harvey —that is, by persons whom one would now call scientists. In the 19th century, in contrast, the distinction between philosophy and science became an overwhelming one.
Virtually every area of human thought and behaviour was considered by a rising number of persons to be amenable to scientific investigation in precisely the same degree that physical data were. More than anyone else, it was Comte who heralded the idea of the scientific treatment of social behaviour.
His Cours de philosophie positive published in English as The Positive Philosophy of Auguste Comtepublished in six volumes between andsought to demonstrate irrefutably not merely the possibility but the inevitability of a science of humanity, one for which Comte coined the word sociology and that would do for humans as social beings exactly what biology had already done for humans as biological animals.
But Comte was far from alone. There were many in the century to join in his celebration of science for the study of society. Roger-Viollet Humanitarianismthough a very distinguishable current of thought in the century, was closely related to the idea of a science of society. For the ultimate purpose of social science was thought by almost everyone to be the welfare of society, the improvement of its moral and social condition. Humanitarianism, strictly defined, is the institutionalization of compassion; it is the extension of welfare and succour from the limited areas in which these had historically been found, chiefly family and village, to society at large.
One of the most notable and also distinctive aspects of the 19th century was the constantly rising number of persons, almost wholly from the middle class, who worked directly for the betterment of society. In the many projects and proposals for relief of the destituteimprovement of slums, amelioration of the plight of the insane, the indigentand imprisoned, and other afflicted minorities could be seen the spirit of humanitarianism at work.
All kinds of associations were formed, including temperance associations, groups and societies for the abolition of slavery and of poverty and for the improvement of literacy, among other objectives.
Humanitarianism and social science were reciprocally related in their purposes. All that helped the cause of the one could be seen as helpful to the other. The third of the intellectual influences is that of evolution. It affected every one of the social sciences, each of which was as much concerned with the development of things as with their structures. An interest in development was to be found in the 18th century, as noted earlier.
But this interest was small and specialized compared with 19th-century theories of social evolution. But it is very important to recognize that ideas of social evolution had their own origins and contexts.
The important point, in any event, is that the idea or the philosophy of evolution was in the air throughout the century, as profoundly contributory to the establishment of sociology as a systematic discipline in the s as to such fields as geologyastronomy, and biology. Evolution was as permeative an idea as the Trinity had been in medieval Europe.
The first was the drive toward unification, toward a single, master social science, whatever it might be called. The second tendency was toward specialization of the individual social sciences. If, clearly, it is the second that has triumphed, with the results to be seen in the disparatesometimes jealous, highly specialized disciplines seen today, the first was not without great importance and must also be examined.
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What emerges from the critical rationalism of the 18th century is not, in the first instance, a conception of need for a plurality of social sciences, but rather for a single science of society that would take its place in the hierarchy of the sciences that included the fields of astronomy, physics, chemistry, and biology.
When, in the s, Comte wrote calling for a new science, one with humans as social animals as its subject, he assuredly had but a single encompassing science of society in mind—not a congeries of disciplines, each concerned with some single aspect of human behaviour in society. The same was true of Bentham, Marx, and Spencer.
All of these thinkers, and there were many others to join them, saw the study of society as a unified enterprise. They would have scoffed, and on occasion did, at any notion of a separate economics, political science, sociology, and so on. Society is an indivisible thing, they would have argued; so, too, must be the study of society.
It was, however, the opposite tendency of specialization or differentiation that won out. No matter how the century began, or what were the dreams of a Comte, Spencer, or Marx, when the 19th century ended, not one but several distinct, competitive social sciences were to be found.
Aiding this process was the development of the colleges and universities.